Account-based marketing (ABM) is no longer a buzzword or a new go-to-market strategy in the B2B industry. Today, B2B organizations have become intentional about implementing ABM as a standard full-funnel revenue generation strategy. However, it’s one thing to know about the incredible benefits of ABM and another thing to build or improve a process that actually helps you receive those benefits.
Here are the five best tactics to effectively implement an ABM strategy or drive a successful ABM process.
#1 Use sales intelligence to connect with accounts at a personal level
Personalization is a core principle of any ABM process. Therefore, it’s indispensable to personalize your approach to target accounts in ABM—through your messaging, content marketing, offers, email, telephonic conversation, social interaction, website, and customer experience.
With B2B sales intelligence solutions like intent data, you can literally know what your target accounts are researching right now and how they behave across the internet. 62% of B2B marketers say intent data improves their personalization and nurturing workflows. Besides, intent data enables you to understand target accounts as well as individual stakeholders in a deeper way by revealing:
- Their buying triggers or willingness to purchase
- What content they consume and how
- Specific topics they’re researching
- Their key interests and needs
- Their pain points and challenges
- Whether they’re interested in you or searching for your competitor
You can also leverage psychographics to know the attitudes, opinions, values, personality, and lifestyle of target accounts. This will help your ABM team build an emotional or personal connection with them. Then there are demographics, firmographics, technographics, and other types of sales intelligence solutions that allow you to drastically improve your personalization game in ABM.
#2 Create an aligned go-to-market team, build one-to-one relationships
Sales and marketing alignment is another key aspect of an ABM process. Statistics show that organizations implementing “smarketing” drive 208% more revenue and are 58% more effective at retaining customers and 67% better at closing deals.
Align your sales and marketing teams to:
- Build more accurate, well-defined buyer personas
- Agree on what qualifies an account as an ideal client
- Discuss how to effectively nurture accounts
- Sync contact-level targeting efforts
- Plan account relationship building
You can also align teams to assign sales and marketing reps to a specific account/stakeholder to cultivate one-to-one relationships. Use your existing CRM or get access to an external (preferably human-verified) B2B database to create role-based contact lists. Then, start targeting and nurturing each contact within an account.
You can also use the tactic of ‘executive-to-executive relationship building’ where you assign your relevant employees to connect and set up meetings with relevant contacts. For example, a C-level employee in your organization can connect with a C-level contact within a target account. Following this, your sales or marketing reps can take over.
Additionally, you can leverage connections your other employees (not necessarily sales or marketing) may have with certain target contacts, either through LinkedIn or personally.
#3 Implement retargeting to keep your brand or product top of mind
Did you know it takes eight touches on average to get through and generate a conversion? Some target accounts simply don’t convert with the first few touchpoints; they require additional nurturing or retargeting to turn into a customer. With an ABM-focused retargeting program, you can individually and directly retarget or re-engage specific accounts that have:
- Consumed your content
- Visited your website or landing page
- Not completed their purchase
- Clicked on your ads but didn’t complete the desired action
- Engaged with you on social media
Using a B2B account-based retargeting solution, you can precisely retarget best-fit companies and serve customized, dynamic ads to key decision-makers at those companies. Some solutions also enable you to deliver retargeting display ads to specific companies at a time when they’re most likely to buy.
Importantly, account-based retargeting allows you to retarget contacts using role-based offers and tailored personalized messaging—based on firmographics, how they behaved on your website or engaged with you earlier, and individual characteristics.
#4 Cut through the digital noise, give life to your brand with direct mail
It’s easy to lose your voice in today’s hyper-digital business world. Your target audience is constantly bombarded with digital communications from scores of brands providing solutions similar to yours. While digital channels offer their own advantages to ABM teams, direct mail helps you provide a true omnichannel experience to target accounts. Besides, it’s an impactful, tangible way to:
- Add a human touch to ABM efforts
- Develop a memorable, lasting connection with target accounts
- Speed up the sales pipeline and increase engagement rates
- Improve brand awareness with target accounts
- Stand out from the competition and make your presence known
75% of marketers believe direct mail is effective at reaching the C-Suite. Compared to only 20-30% of emails, up to 90% of direct mail gets opened. Furthermore, direct mail recipients spend 28% more money and buy 28% more items compared to those who don’t receive that same direct mail.
Well-targeted direct mail can get your foot in the door, even at companies you didn’t have success with previously. The best part is you can integrate direct mail into your automated ABM strategy. Create a seamless, multi-channel account-based experience by starting out with direct mail. Following this, you can layer in web personalization, outbound calls, account-based emails, social engagement, and display advertising.
Moreover, with modern direct mail solutions, you can trigger direct mail sends based on account engagement, behavior, and intent. You can also customize direct mail according to an account’s specific buyer’s journey stage, personality, and persona.
#5 Leverage social media to identify, understand, engage real people
According to statistics, 72% of companies use social media data to inform business decisions. Furthermore, 78% of consumers are willing to purchase from a company after having a positive experience with them on social media. Interestingly, 81% of Twitter users claim Twitter impacts their purchasing decisions more than TV.
Social media is a powerful ABM tactic to better understand your target accounts, create and share resonating content with them, boost your relationship with them, and even nurture or convert them. Use a social media platform or social listening tool to:
- Know what target accounts and their customers are complaining about
- Know which type and format of content they’re mainly interested in or most likely to share
- Create highly tailored posts that speak directly to their needs and pain points
- Stay on top of their relevant conversations and specific activities across different social sites
- Build target contact lists and create micro-targeted ABM campaigns focused on specific roles at specific companies
You can also implement influencer marketing through social media to promote your product and content, build trust, and increase engagement with target accounts. Not to forget, paid social ads can be a great way to target high-value businesses and key decision-makers at them.
A Final Word
Creating a foolproof, effective ABM process may seem to be a daunting and complex task. However, using the proven tactics explained here, you can make your job easier and greatly improve the results of your ABM process.
As a final tip to further increase the success of your ABM process, we suggest you start creating personalized and targeted videos. Add short selfie-style videos to your email campaigns to introduce your brand or solution to target accounts in a unique way. In addition, you can create thought leadership/explainer videos relevant to them.
You could also pursue high-value accounts by sharing customized testimonial videos featuring your clients from the same industry or running a similar business. Lastly, screen share videos can be used to show target accounts or share real-time, real-life examples of how your solution can solve their specific problem.